So what is the difference between conservation values and ecological values?
We draw a gentle distinction between these two terms when speaking about ranches on the market.
While both terms show that the owners are wonderful stewards of the land, ecological values go beyond pure land conservation and protection; the landowner of a property with ecological values studies the various ecological resources of the ranch and implements management techniques to improve and enhance:
- livestock capacity,
- wildlife and fishery habitat,
- and riparian areas.
The owners of conservation properties, on the other hand, generally preserve landscapes through:
- conservation easements,
- or self-imposed restrictions.
Landowners who protect and enhance conservation and ecological features of their properties are essential in preserving integrity of the land, habitat, and ranching. Here is our list of the top available properties with ecological values.
First off, let’s talk about this one-of-a-kind property in Chile. Valle California is Chile’s first private reserve to be permanently protected by a conservation easement supervised by the Tierra Austral Land Trust, a specialist in conservation. Pretty nifty if you ask us.
A sanctuary for bighorn sheep, this property is situated in the Wildcat Hills, a noted ecological landmark. The amount of wildlife in the area is so abundant, the property is bordered on three sides by land that has been conserved and placed into a wildlife management area.
Located at the heart of the Wet Mountain Valley’s Swift Creek drainage, the Beckwith Ranch is blessed with a series of spring-fed ponds, including the Beckwith Rangeland Habitat Ponds, developed in 2004 as part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s wetland habitat program. The Beckwith Ponds provide excellent habitat for waterfowl with a remarkable diversity of species visiting the property each year. The ponds are also well stocked with with trout and small mouth bass providing excellent fishing for sportsmen.
While the ranch enjoys private fly-fishing on the famed White River, it’s also home to the enhanced Lone Tree Spring Creek, an ecological success story. This creek was basically a shallow, warm meadow stream, that was little more than irrigation runoff, and the owners created a ¾ of a mile natural producing stream with a series of riffles and pools that is wonderful trout habitat.
Representing one of the largest undeveloped properties available along the foothills between Denver and Colorado Springs, Dakan Ranch is protected by a conservation easement with Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust and borders Pike National Forest for 1.5 miles.
Both Cinch Buckle Ranch and Antelope Springs Ranch are historically profitable operating ranches utilizing Holistic Planned Grazing techniques. On both ranches, these focused management techniques have restored the grasses and strengthened the landscapes’ overall ecological diversity, leading to increased livestock capacity on both ranches.
Through pioneering conservation efforts, the owners of The Cottonwood have enhanced and conserved miles of rivers, riparian corridors, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and open spaces, while also improving the ecological and economical sustainability of the overall ranch.
This is truly one of the most unique ranches in the West and it is spectacular in its beauty, geology, history, recreation, and wildlife habitat. In December 2014, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, along with multiple other organizations, established a 16,000 acre-conservation easement to protect key sage grouse habitat on Cross Mountain Ranch. This effort was a part of the larger state-wide attempt to preserve grouse habitat supported by Governor John Hickenlooper, who said, “Thanks to the family of Cross Mountain Ranch and their neighboring ranch families, we’re seeing the power of voluntary conservation to keep the vast sage grouse lands intact where it matters most in our state and nationally.”
Cross Mountain also has land for sale that can be purchased separately:
- Osterhouse Ranch (1,874 +/- acres) – SOLD!
- Egry Mesa Ranch (3,935 +/- acres) – $12,400,000
- Pyramid Peak Ranch (2,579 +/- acres) – $9,800,000
- The Lower Ranch at Cross Mountain (27,566 +/ acres) – $25,000,000
- The Upper Ranch at Cross Mountain (26,610 +/- acres) – $55,000,000
You can view this land for sale with ecological values in the video below: